Anxiety is often described as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Emotional symptoms of anxiety can consist of poor sleep, worry, poor concentration levels and irritability. Whereas physical symptoms can be quite severe such as shortness of breath, sweating, diarrhoea, dry mouth, nausea, palpitations, dizziness, cold hands, muscle tension and aches.
Acupuncture aims to help relieve anxiety by stimulating the body’s nervous system to cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules which work to deactivate the ‘analytical’ part of the brain responsible for anxiety and worry. Stimulating these acupoints will reduce the brains sensitivity to pain and stress allowing increased relaxation.
The British Acupuncture Council shows supporting evidence for using acupuncture to help anxiety, stating that ‘Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or psycho-educational therapy, possibly enhancing their beneficial effects and reducing unwanted side-effects’.